Brakes - Everything you need to know

When driving and approaching a stop sign, you simply press your foot on the brakes and the car stops.

Without the brakes, this wouldn’t be possible, and the outcome could be fatal.

Brakes provide the friction to slow down or stop your car.

Most vehicle’s braking systems consist of brake pads, brake disc, brake fluid and brake pipes, while some older cars have brake shoes.

The standard of braking systems fitted to vehicles is a key safety issue and a braking capability is one of the most important qualities a vehicle must have.

(The Road Safety Authority of Ireland)

When to replace brake pads?

Some vehicles now have brake wear indicators who warn you when you need to get your brake pads replaced however for the majority of vehicles it can be hard to tell.

The deterioration of brake pads depends on the amount of time driven, climate, and frequency of stops.

If your car is screeching or squealing every time you press on the brakes; the steering wheel is vibrating when you step on the brake, or the brake pedal is harder or softer to press – then you might need to check the brake pads.

Brake maintenance

To ensure proper performance of your car, and to keep yourself and other road users safe, make sure your brakes are in a perfect condition. 

Brakes need to be checked regularly, which can be done during your car’s routine servicing or by calling into your local First Stop for a brake check.

Find your nearest First Stop here.

All aspects of brake replacement and repair will be carried out by fully trained First Stop Team members to ensure you can drive safely and comfortably.

Brake fluid change

Brake Fluid plays a crucial role in the braking system.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture therefore it is important that it is changed as per your vehicle’s manufacturer guidelines. Whilst replacing your worn brake pads can be the ideal time to have a brake fluid change completed, however ask your local First Stop.

For most makes and models it is recommended to change the brake fluid every two years.

We will also safely dispose of the old fluid in an environmentally friendly way.


The dangers of ignoring brake pads can be serious. Don’t wait until it’s too late.